The eyes of Texas are upon us….
Competitive Enterprise Institute‘s OpenMarket.org describes regulatory reform, Texas style. In 1977, Texas enacted legislation that automatically kills state-level agencies after a named duration unless a subsequent legislature explicitly votes to extend that agency. More, the question of extension isn’t even permitted to come up for a vote unless a Sunset Advisory Commission favorably recommends it first.
OpenMarket notes the results:
Through this process, the commission [10 legislators and 2 members of the public] has abolished 78 state agencies and saved $945.4 million in a 29-year period [through 2006]. Since the Sunset Commission’s expenditures over this time period were just $32.8 million, every dollar spent on this program has yielded about $29 in return.
We don’t have a bloated government here. And surviving agencies exist because they actually do their jobs, and so they’re capable of justifying their existence to the commission—and to the Texas citizenry through those two public members.
Maybe the Federal government needs a similar Act—not addressing only the agencies, but the Cabinet Departments, as well.
Texas’ law can be read here.